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St Mirren 2 – 2 Aberdeen – The Verdict: Player ratings, talking points and star man as Dons net dramatic injury-time leveller

Aberdeen are still searching for a first Premiership win this season and needed a dramatic leveller six minutes into injury time to salvage a draw at St Mirren.

Aberdeen's Bojan Miovski celebrates as he makes it 2-2 against St Mirren. Image: SNS
Aberdeen's Bojan Miovski celebrates as he makes it 2-2 against St Mirren. Image: SNS

Aberdeen are still searching for their first Premiership win of the season after salvaging a 2-2 draw at St Mirren thanks to a dramatic injury-time penalty.

Striker Bojan Miovski converted the last gasp spot-kick SIX minutes into injury-time to secure a result which flattered the flat Dons.

Although Aberdeen somehow avoided defeat, this will be a sobering wake-up call for the Reds of the difficulties of balancing a European campaign with domestic duties.

St Mirren must be wondering how they didn’t secure a deserved win which would have elevated them to the top of the Premiership table.

Ragged in defence and blunt in attack, the Dons must significantly improve their levels for the Europa League play-off second leg against BK Hacken Pittodrie on Thursday.

The attacking spark which had lit up Gothenburg in an impressive comeback to draw 2-2 in Sweden on Thursday was absent in Paisley.

Aberdeen looked to have suffered a Euro hangover from the trip to Sweden.

Aberdeen’s Bojan Miovski celebrates as he makes it 2-2 against St Mirren. Image: SNS.

Although the Reds were a yard off it, they never gave up the fight and dug hard.

But, with European group stage action guaranteed until December, the Dons will have to quickly find a way to balance rigours of continental action with domestic commitments.

Group stage action for the first time since the Uefa Cup in 2007 must not damage the Premiership campaign.

Aberdeen grabbed the lead in the 42nd minute completely against the run of play.

A free-kick from Jonny Hayes near the right-flank eluded everyone in the box and bamboozled keeper Zach Hemming to go in at the far corner.

St Mirren secured a deserved goal when Greg Kiltie converted a penalty in the 59th minute. The spot-kick was awarded for a hand-ball by Angus MacDonald from a Ryan Strain cross.

St Mirren then went ahead when substitute Alex Grieve burst in on goal in 76th minute and fired beyond Roos.

There was late drama when Aberdeen were awarded a penalty six minutes into injury time for handball by Alexander Gogic from a Leighton Clarkson shot following a VAR review.

Bojan Miovski clinically converted. But the drama didn’t stop there… as the pen even had to undergo a VAR review for a double touch.

After a long wait, it stood and the Dons salvaged a point.

A crazy second half finally ended – after 15 minutes of time added on.

Aberdeen’s Richard Jensen in action on his debut. Image: SNS.

Talking points

Bojan Miovski’s goal run continues

The goal run of Bojan Miovski continued at St Mirren as the striker netted for the fourth successive match.

Miovski had been starved of service throughout the game and failed to register a single shot on or off target, until the late drama when a penalty was awarded deep into injury time.

The pressure was on Miovski to convert the penalty and he did so clinically.

When it mattered the striker delivered, which is why he is on the radar of clubs.

Aberdeen striker Bojan Miovski celebrates after scoring a dramatic late leveller against St Mirren. Image; SNS.

It has been reported Southampton could make a late transfer window swoop for star striker Miovski.

Miovski netted 18 goals in his debut season following a £535,000 transfer from Hungarian club MTK Budapest last summer.

The 24-year-old has continued that scoring form this season.

The transfer window closes at midnight on the day after Aberdeen’s crunch Europa League play-off second leg clash with BK Hacken at Pittodrie.

A late approach for Miovski would be far from ideal ahead of the Dons’ biggest European match in more than a decade.

It is understood there has been no contact between Southampton and Aberdeen regarding Miovski.

Aberdeen’s Bojan Miovski celebrates as he makes it 2-2. Image: SNS

And the £4m bid Southampton are reportedly set to bid for the striker would be significantly lower than Aberdeen’s valuation of Miovski and nowhere near enough to convince the Pittodrie board to sell him.

Miovski’s importance to Aberdeen is underlined by his Premiership scoring stats.

Since the beginning of last season, only Kyogo Furuhashi (29), Kevin van Veen (25) and Lawrence Shankland (25) have scored more league goals than Miovski, who has hit 18.

Aberdeen have agreed a deal to sign striker Pape Habib Gueye from Belgian Pro-League club K.V. Kortrijk for a six-figure fee.

Personal terms have also been agreed with Gueye and the Dons are now waiting on the striker’s visa and work permits to clear before he can fly to the Granite City to complete the move.

The hope with Aberdeen fans will be that Gueye will arrive to beef up an attack comprising of Miovski – and not as a potential replacement.

Aberdeen’s Bojan Miovski celebrates as he makes it 2-2. Image: SNS.

Terrible in the first-half… yet Aberdeen take lead

Aberdeen delivered a first-half smash-and-grab to somehow go in 1-0 up at the break, despite a terrible opening 45 minutes.

Not only was the attacking edge blunted, the Dons also looked vulnerable at the back, particularly from crosses and dead ball-deliveries.

Aberdeen under Barry Robson have been epitomised by a high energy, aggressive pressing game.

However, it was St Mirren who brought that high press, high tempo and the Dons struggled to cope in the opening 45 minutes.

Aberdeen were turgid.

St Mirren’s Toyosi Olusanya and Aberdeen’s Angus MacDonald and Nicky Devlin in action. Image: SNS.

Alarm bells were ringing in the 26th minute when Olutoysi Olusanya was given far too much space near the penalty area and flicked a header goalwards.

Aberdeen were fortunate the 12-yard effort was straight at keeper Roos who saved.

Had it had been a yard either way, it was so powerful it would surly have been a goal.

That Olusanya header came direct from a free-kick, awarded for a clumsy challenge by Jack MacKenzie in dangerous territory.

The warning was not heeded as just two minutes later Ryan Strain was allowed a free-header in the box, but it was yet again straight at Roos.

Soon after, Aberdeen were again exposed defensively from a dead-ball delivery deep into the box in the 29th minute when a corner-kick found Greg Kiltie.

Yet again St Mirren were first to the ball in the box and Kiltie fired a vicious 12-yard header that Roos did well to punch over.

Aberdeen’s Kelle Roos tips a header from Greg Kiltie over the bar. Image: SNS.

There was a sense a goal was coming – the only surprise was that it was for Aberdeen, and not St Mirren.

Completely against the run-of-play, Jonny Hayes’ 30-yard free-kick from the right flank bypassed everyone and confused keeper Zach Hemming.

It flew into the far corner to put the Reds 1-0 up.

Aberdeen would have been fortunate to go into the break level.

It was a miracle they walked off ahead.

Aberdeen’s Jonny Hayes (not in frame) scores the opener against St Mirren. Image: SNS.

Baptism of fire for new signing Richard Jensen

Finnish international centre-back Richard Jensen made his Aberdeen debut when introduced as a substitute early in the second half.

The 27-year-old was signed on a three-year deal from Polish club Gornik Zabrze on the eve of the Europa League play-off first leg tie at BK Hacken.

Aberdeen successfully registered the left-sided centre-back before Uefa’s 11pm deadline on Wednesday for the play-off.

Jensen was an unused substitute in Gothenburg, but was introduced for a debut against St Mirren when replacing Jack MacKenzie in the 56h minute.

Within a minute of his introduction, the Dons conceded a goal from a handball by Angus MacDonald.

Aberdeen’s Richard Jensen in action against St Mirren. Image: SNS.

There was nothing Jensen could have done about that.

However, the Dons conceded again.

Despite being on the losing side, Jensen showed enough to suggest he will be a strong signing.

He pitched in with two key tackles, three clearances. Of the four aerial duels he was involved in, Jensen won them all. Jensen also won all three of his duels on the deck.

Aberdeen’s Richard Jensen in action on his debut against St Mirren. Image: SNS.

Talking tactics

Aberdeen boss Barry Robson made two changes to the starting XI who drew 2-2 with BK Hacken in Gothenburg.

Wing-backs Shayden Morris and Ryan Duncan both dropped to the bench, with Angus MacDonald and Jonny Hayes elevated to the starting line-up.

Defender MacDonald made his first start of the season, having recovered from a knee injury.

MacDonald occupied the central position in a back-three with Nicky Devlin, who has recently occupied the right sided centre-back role, moving up to right-wing back.

Slobadan Rubezic moved out to the right-sided centre-back berth.

Robson retained his preferred 3-4-1-2 formation.

Aberdeen supporters during the away Premiership clash at St Mirren. Image: SNS.

Referee watch

John Beaton: Referee Beaton rightly chalked off a St Mirren goal for offside in the 23rd minute for offside.

Keanu Baccus latched onto the loose ball from a blocked Ryan Strain shot and fired beyond Kelle Roos at the near post.

Beaton immediately disallowed the goal as Baccus was in an offside position.

It was the right call by the whistler and was subsequently backed up by VAR.

Player ratings

ABERDEEN (3-4-1-2): Roos 7, Rubezic 5,  MacDonald 5, MacKenzie 5 (Jensen 57), Devlin 6, Clarkson 5, Shinnie 6, Hayes 6 (McGarry 52), Polvara 5 (McGrath 57); Miovski, Duk (Morris 77).

Subs not used: Doohan, Barron, Sokler, Duncan, Dadia.

ST MIRREN (3-4-3): Hemming 6, Fraser 6, Gogic 6, Taylor 6, Strain 7, Baccus 7, Boyd-Munce 6 (Bolton 81)  Tanser 7, McMenamin 7 (Flynn 87), Olusanya 7 (Mandron 70), Kiltie 7 (Greive 70).

Subs not used: Urminsky, Small, Dunne, Nahmani, Jamieson.

Attendance: 7,492


Kelle Roos (Aberdeen) – The Aberdeen keeper was left exposed far too often by his defence. He responded with a string of superb, vital saves.

However, even Roos’ heroics couldn’t prevent the Dons conceding twice.